Coronavirus: MotoGP to revise 2020 calendar again as Spanish Grand Prix postponed

By Sports Desk March 26, 2020

The start of the 2020 MotoGP season has again been delayed after the Spanish Grand Prix became the latest race to be postponed.

Jerez was due to host the opening race of the rearranged schedule on May 3, but those plans have had to be shelved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A statement on the MotoGP website confirmed the event will be rescheduled for later in the year, with a revised calendar to be released "as soon as available".

"As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, a new date for the Spanish GP cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the event," the statement read.

"A revised calendar will be published as soon as available."

Qatar was only able to stage Moto2 and Moto3 events, while races in Argentina, Thailand and the United States have all been postponed because of the virus.

The Argentinian Grand Prix was previously moved to November 22, meaning the Valencia Grand Prix was pushed back to the following week to ensure it remains the final event.

Related items

  • F1 2020: Hamilton begins title defence as delayed season starts in Austria F1 2020: Hamilton begins title defence as delayed season starts in Austria

    Lewis Hamilton will begin the defence of his Formula One drivers' title four months later than initially planned as the 2020 campaign belatedly gets under way with the Austrian Grand Prix.

    The season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne was cancelled in March while teams were at the circuit during raceweek just as the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown measures started to take effect around the world.

    A full season schedule is yet to be confirmed, but eight races in Europe are due to take place, with the first two due to be held in consecutive weekends at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

    The first of those events in Austria begins at 15:10 local time (14:10 BST) on Sunday, with Mercedes driver Hamilton now a six-time world champion and within one crown of tying Michael Schumacher for the all-time record of seven.



    If the last race seems like it was so long ago, it is because it was. This is the first race for more than seven months, with the last event of the 2019 season having been the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December.

    That grand prix was one of the least exciting of the campaign and saw Hamilton crown his title success with a dominant race victory, winning from pole position with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc making up the remaining podium places.

    Valtteri Bottas charged through from the back of the grid to finish fourth, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Alex Albon.



    While pre-season testing provides a guide, no one truly knows where each team stands with their cars until we have seen them in full competitive action.

    That is true for any season, but the delayed start to the 2020 campaign - and the chance of drivers being a little rusty - will have fans hoping the early races are more unpredictable than ever.

    Vettel has a point to prove in what will be his last season with Ferrari, though he may have a tough task after the team revealed they have had to make a major redesign to their car since testing, with those upgrades not available until Hungary.

    His replacement Carlos Sainz and McLaren-bound Daniel Ricciardo will also be in the spotlight after their 2021 moves were announced during lockdown, while Lando Norris revealed drivers have discussed taking a knee to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.


    Three in a row for Max? - After finishing first in both 2018 and 2019, Red Bull's Verstappen is looking to become the first driver to win three Austrian Grands Prix in a row. He would also equal the overall record for Austria victories, held by Alain Prost (a winner in 1983, 1985 and 1986).

    Lewis looks to improve - Hamilton only has one win in Austria, which came in the 2016 season. Only in Australia (last win in 2015) has the British driver endured a longer winless run than in Austria of races that were in the 2019 schedule.

    Vettel nears landmark – The German needs a podium finish to reach 3,000 points in F1, a milestone only achieved by Hamilton (3,431).

    Good omen for Ferrari - The first grand prix of the previous two decades were both won by Ferrari in 2000 (Schumacher) and in 2010 (Fernando Alonso).

    History to be made - This will be the first F1 season to start with a race in Europe since the 1966 championship began in Monaco, while the Red Bull Ring will become the first-ever circuit to host back-to-back grands prix.

  • F1 2020: What has changed during the coronavirus delay? F1 2020: What has changed during the coronavirus delay?

    At long last, the 2020 Formula One season will finally begin this week.

    The action will begin with the Austrian Grand Prix behind closed doors at the Red Bull Ring, with the Steiermark Grand Prix being held at the same track the following weekend.

    Silverstone will also stage two races this year, with Hungary, Spain, Belgium and Italy the only other confirmed events as things stand.

    The season had been due to get underway with the Australian Grand Prix in March, but it was cancelled after a member of the McLaren garage tested positive for COVID-19.

    A lot of things have changed since then, so we have recapped the biggest stories during the four-month coronavirus hiatus.


    Vettel decision sparks driver changes

    Ferrari announced that four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel would not remain with the team beyond the end of this season.

    The German has yet to find another seat in F1, with Carlos Sainz to replace him at Ferrari and Daniel Ricciardo leaving Renault for McLaren.

    Toto Wolff confirmed Mercedes are monitoring Vettel's situation, though Valtteri Bottas claims he was told by the Silver Arrows there is nothing to the story.

    Renault are yet to disclose who will take Ricciardo's place in 2021, with a shock return for two-time champion Fernando Alonso mooted.

    Regulation changes pushed back to 2022

    The pandemic forced a number of teams to furlough staff or reduce the size of their workforce, while F1 brought its mandatory mid-season shutdown period forward and extended it.

    Together with the reduction in income from the lack of racing, sweeping changes to the technical regulations that were expected to challenge Mercedes' dominance of the series have been pushed back.

    Teams will now contest the 2021 season in the same cars as this year, with the new rules instead coming into effect from 2022.

    Budget cap implemented and reduced

    In a bid to level the playing field in F1, for the first time a cost cap will come into effect from the 2021 season. This will limit the amount teams can spend on their cars to $145million.

    The cap had initially been set at $175m but was lowered to avoid the possibility of some constructors spending up to that limit while others found themselves incapable of doing so due to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

    In 2022 the cap will be reduced to $140m, before dropping to $135m the following year and remaining there. This was done to make it easier for the bigger teams to adjust the size and scale of their operations.

    Mercedes manoeuvring

    A key member of Mercedes' six-year domination of F1 has left the team.

    Managing director Andy Cowell, who had direct responsibility for the F1 power unit, helped establish Mercedes at the pinnacle of the sport in his 16 years with the team, but Hywel Thomas took over from him on July 1.

    Mercedes team principal Wolff bought a stake in Aston Martin, which is controlled by Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll.

    Wolff insisted a personal investment "has nothing to do with Formula One", despite the fact Racing Point will be rebranded as Aston Martin on the 2021 grid.

    A push for diversity

    Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton criticised the Formula One community for its silence in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May, which sparked anti-racism protests around the globe.

    The 35-year-old Briton subsequently partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering to create The Hamilton Commission, looking at how more young people from black backgrounds can be brought into motorsport or be employed elsewhere in the field of engineering. F1 has also set up a new task force to increase diversity and inclusion in the sport.

    Mercedes signalled their commitment to fighting racism and discrimination by unveiling an all-black livery in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, switching from their traditional Silver Arrows design.

    Hamilton and Bottas will race in black overalls, while 'End Racism' will feature on the halo of both cars and the F1 initiative #WeRaceAsOne will appear on the mirrors.

  • Dovizioso to be fit for new MotoGP season after surgery Dovizioso to be fit for new MotoGP season after surgery

    Andrea Dovizioso will be fit for the first race of the delayed MotoGP season despite undergoing surgery on his collarbone on Sunday, Ducati have confirmed.

    The Italian sustained the injury during a motocross race in Faenza and had a plate fixed to the bone to try to improve his recovery time.

    MotoGP's 2020 season will get under way in Jerez on July 19 and Ducati are confident he will be ready to race.

    "The surgery went well, and I want to thank all the medical team that did the operation so quickly. I don't feel much pain, and that makes me very optimistic," said Dovizioso in a statement published on Monday.

    "I came home this morning, and during the afternoon, I will plan my rehabilitation. I am confident that in these weeks I will be able to recover and that I will be in full shape in time for the first 2020 GP in Jerez."

    Ducati sports director Paolo Ciabatti said: "Although we know that motocross is an activity that presents several risks, we had still allowed Andrea to participate in this regional race, because he had explained to us that he needed to rediscover those stimuli and sensations that only a real competition can give.

    "On the other hand, motocross is also the discipline with which many of the MotoGP riders train regularly. So, in the end, we must be relieved that the injury did not have serious consequences and that Andrea will be able to [race] at the start of the 2020 championship in Jerez."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.